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Multitalented vocalist Sarah Pillow veers off the straight and narrow with this immensely absorbing release titled Nuove Musiche, which in Italian, signifies ‘new music’. Here, Ms. Pillow melds Baroque compositions with fusion, progressive rock and blues motifs, all sung in Latin, French, Spanish, English and/or Italian. A striking concept indeed, as the artist aligns her impressive vocal faculties with the eminent fusion/progressive ensemble, “Brand X”.
On this outing, the music of 17th century composers such as Purcell, Monteverdi, Rossi and Dowland cross paths with one of the hardest driving bands in the business amid Ms. Pillow’s silken incantations and conspicuously stylistic approach. Throughout, the vocalist renders romantic lyricism in various dialects atop thrashing blues choruses, sublime synths and electric guitarist John Goodsall’s blistering chord progressions and semi-classical accompaniment performed on acoustic guitar. Meanwhile, vibraphonist, multi-instrumentalist Marc Wagnon, bassist Percy Jones and drummer Frank Katz lay down the thunderous or at times, delicately constructed rhythms. Hence, an intriguing and somewhat surrealistic fusing of disparate elements and contrasting modes of execution, as the band fabricates interweaving fabrics of sound in concert with Ms. Pillows resonant vocals and lilting arias. No doubt, this recording will spur some debate yet when viewed upon as a whole, Nuove Musiche is a compelling project, brimming with emotional story lines and melodious themes. Basically, Sarah Pillow navigates previously uncharted sectors on this curiously interesting excursion!
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.